Kayelyn Simmons

Research Highlights

Research Interests

  • Characterizing temporal and spatial changes in benthic cover and coral assemblages using structure-from-motion photogrammetry
  • Monitoring spatiotemporal variations in coral reef habitats at multiple spatial scales relevant to marine life and management objectives
  • Using fine-scale spatial data to better inform management, conservation and restoration strategies in coastal ecosystems

Kayelyn Simmons, Ph.D.

Oceanographer, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory 

Phone Number: 786.373.8230

“As part of research and academic career, I am an avid scientific diver with a diverse background in marine biology and spatial ecology. In addition to using diver-based methods to study coral reefs, I also employ structure-from-motion photogrammetry and 3D modeling to support spatial management, conservation, and restoration efforts for coral reefs and neighboring coastal ecosystems. ”

Kayelyn Simmons joins NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory as a federal oceanographer. At AOML, she will lead benthic habitat characterization studies for several efforts with the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division, including the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program and the Port Everglades Dredging Expansion project.

Current Work

Oceanographer with the coral research team at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.

Download Full CV

2022, Ph.D., Marine Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

2018, Graduate Certificate, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC

2014, M.S., in Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL

2011, B.S., Marine & Environmental Science, Hampton University, Hampton, VA

Sea Grant John A Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship ($45k/year) 2021

Serve as co-chair for the US Coral Reef Task Force Steering Committee

Provide written technical reports/recommendations for congressional inquiries on coral interventions

Support the implementation of the Coral Program Strategic Plan in partnering states, territories, and US coral reef jurisdictions

Serve on interagency federal working groups prioritizing coral reef conservation, climate change impacts, ocean acidification, and coastal resilience in the Western Atlantic, Caribbean, Hawaii-Pacific

Assist in coordination and implementation of science-based strategic plans for watershed coordinators, fisheries liaisons, restoration mangers, and coral disease managers

Provide technical support for National Center for Coastal Ocean Sciences structure-from-motion mapping and place-based restoration efforts

Communicate and outreach using social media platforms and web stories

Introductory trainings/workshop: NOAA Financial Workshop (1.0 CLP), ESA Section 7, NEPA

NCSU Dissertation Completion Grant ($10k/6-months) 2020
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Grant ($72k) 2018-2019
NCSU Augustus M. Witherspoon Graduate Scholarship ($1k/year) 2017-2020
NCSU GSA Travel Assistance Award ($500) 2018
NCSU Ebony Harlem Award Graduate Student Outstanding Research Award 2018
NC Diversity Enhancement Grant ($1k) 2017
NCSU Teaching Assistant Fellowship ($25k /year) 2015-2019
Presidents Faculty R&D Grant (NSU) 2012-2014
Title V Grant Fellowship US Dept Education ($23k/year) 2012-2014